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October 1, 2014
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Education, Coaching and Support Lead to Lifelong Health

Too often, physicians give advice to patients about nutrition, weight loss or other issues, but neglect to offer on-going support. Family Health & Wellness provides much more than just a prescription

As we ring in the New Year, all too often we have one more thing we have simultaneously rung in—a little extra weight. The past year may have brought with it some added pounds or an extra muffin top that you find yourself wanting to lose as the big 2012 arrives, but you just don’t know where to begin.

The Family Health & Wellness of America health clinic is the help you might be looking for. Dr. Susan Willard, D.O. shares how every day she and her team at Family Health & Wellness of America are changing lives (not just the number on the scale) for men and women throughout Tulsa.

After practicing medicine for almost 30 years, Willard has just about seen it all—from every fad diet to diet pills to shots that claim to melt off your unwanted pounds—she has watched the trends come and go.

Yet, as Willard watched fads ebb and wane, she found a successful approach to healthy weight loss sans shots, pills or anything in between—a method that seems so simple yet yields solid results. At her practice, Willard and her team of health experts combine education, scientific data and health advocacy coaching to create a formula of success for each patient who comes through.

“Everybody struggles with trying to keep their weight or be healthy,” Dr. Willard said. “We named the clinic Family Health and Wellness because it’s not about being skinny; we really want people to age well and to feel good—and looking good would be great, too—but to feel good.” How refreshing to find a place where skinny is not king but rather the ultimate goal is health, all as you are being coached and encouraged by knowledgeable health experts who want to see you succeed.  

At Family Health & Wellness of America, Dr. Willard and her partners stress self-knowledge to their patients. They educate people about their bodies, and then combine that knowledge with education about how food really works. After people learn more and truly begin to understand their bodies and how it processes food, Willard has noticed that people then become motivated to be healthy and make better decisions. Several of her clients have lost 40 to 50 pounds after coming to her practice.

Each patient has the option to meet with the health coach, who educates the patient on his or her body and food in a way that is simple, easy to understand and extremely practical. The patient can also be assessed by the clinic’s Inbody machine, which measures how many pounds of fat, water and muscle each patient has. Combined with a modified Mediterranean diet, this health team empowers patients to not only lose weight, but to feel great in a healthy, wholesome way.

“We have patients schedule with our health coach for a couple visits and learn, and then it’s between the coach and them,” Dr. Willard said. “Some of them really have fun and use our health coach as accountability—I mean, we all need accountability.”

With a coach to help you understand what’s going on inside your body and partners at the center who cheer you on despite what you currently see on the outside, you will soon feel encouraged to keep on going. There is power in numbers. 

And one of the best parts of this whole educational lifestyle change is its ripple effect to children and family. Dr. Willard emphasizes how the woman of the house is the gatekeeper of the food. As she learns more about her body and health and then takes the appropriate steps to change for the better, she directly affects her children and family’s health as well.

“My mother was a stickler for eating healthy and exercising, so I think one of the best things you can do for your kids—the best legacy—is to teach them to eat right and to move, to exercise, to not sit in front of the TV or computer,” Dr. Willard said.

As a parent, you have the power to shape your children’s tastes while they are young so they do not naturally lean toward those high fat, high salt, high sugar foods that so many children devour today.

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